Mario Villalobos

A buff-tailed bumblebee and a 3D model of the bumblebee brain, based on micro-CT (!!!)

An Atlas of the Bumblebee Brain

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I’m in a particular frame of mind at the moment, one that finds this absolutely breathtaking:

To create the atlas, the research team took micro-CT images of ten heads of buff-tailed bumblebees. From these, they first extracted the image data showing the brains. In each of these data stacks, 30 brain regions of the bumblebee were manually reconstructed in three dimensions. On JMU’s high-performance computing cluster Julia, a standard brain was then calculated from the ten data sets, based on their mean values.

These scientists CT-scanned buff-tailed bumblebee brains and created a model of it, all in order to use “…it as a model organism to analyze learning and memory, the visual system, flight control and navigation abilities.” I don’t know why I find this so fascinating right now but I do. This is so cool!

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